The Brooklyn Nets have been urged to ditch superstar duo Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving via trade and release to reset the franchise.
On Tuesday, reports emerged that the Nets head coach, two-time MVP Steve Nash, had mutually agreed with the franchise to leave his post amid a 2-5 record to open the 2022/23 NBA season. Many expected Brooklyn to compete for a championship this year with Nash leading a stacked roster headlined by All-Stars Durant, Irving and Ben Simmons.
Nash led the Nets to a disappointing start to the new season as he attempted to navigate the return to the fold of the much-maligned Simmons. The Australian fouled out twice in his first three games, with the Nets losing on both occasions.
Ultimately, Nash took the fall - but much of the blame must fall on Durant and Irving amid a circus of controversy since their arrival in Brooklyn back in 2019. ESPN NBA Front Office Insider Bobby Marks suggested the franchise should cut their losses and rid themselves of the two superstar players.
“It starts with Kyrie Irving,” Marks said on NBA Today. “How many more chances is this organisation going to give Kyrie Irving? I mean that’s my big question here. Enough is enough and I’m not talking from a trade standpoint. I understand Ime Udoka is the last person to hire that can maybe rein this group in, but if you’re the Brooklyn front office: send him home.
“You do not need Kyrie Irving and I think when you move on from Kyrie, you go Armageddon and I think it starts with Kevin Durant here. I get the Ime Udoka hire is the last straw, but if you’re looking from Brooklyn’s perspective, wipe the slate clean. Start from scratch. You’ve proved you can do it - you did it in 2016 and 2017.”
Neither Durant nor Irving have enjoyed quiet spells with the Nets. Earlier this offseason, Durant handed in a trade request and reportedly gave the team an ultimatum to either fire general manager Sean Marks and coach Steve Nash or send him to another franchise.
Meanwhile, Irving was ineligible to play or practice with the team last season due to his stance against the Covid vaccine amid the the New York City mandate. He committed to the franchise ahead of the 2022/23 season as he opted into his player option, but Irving invited controversy when the seven-time NBA All-Star took to social media to tweet out an Amazon link to a three hour movie littered with antisemitic tropes.
As a result, Marks believes the Nets should rid themselves of their stars in order to move forward and rebuild for the future, no matter how much talent Durant and Irving respectively possess.